Sweet Chilli Thai Restaurant has been in business for nine years. Located at the Augusta airport, we probably have driven by it a hundred times. Three previous Thai restaurants were located in that same spot. But this one has stayed, and has a loyal following. And now that we have eaten there we know why. The food is superb and the staff is very welcoming.

Actually, most of the staff is related. Nim, one of the owners, was so gracious and as she was telling us their story I could hear the pride in her voice. Her cousins, mom, aunt and cousin’s husband are either in the kitchen or serving diners out front. “They cook because they love to cook for people,” Nim said.

They are cooking the recipes they brought with them from Thailand.

Their food is made order by order, they use the freshest of ingredients and they make healthy food. The pride they share in this restaurant shows on the plates of food they serve.

We started our meal with fresh rolls ($6.95), spring rolls filled with carrots, lettuce, cucumber, noodles and cilantro, wrapped in a rice paper. The vegetables were artfully arranged and indeed very fresh. The house-made hoisin sauce topped with crushed peanuts provided lots of flavor for this light appetizer. One order to split was just right.


I’d done a little research prior to arriving to try to choose dishes we had never tried before. My first choice was a cashew nut stir-fry ($12.95), a dish several articles suggested as a “must try” Thai dish. I ordered it with chicken, but other protein choices are available. This was a mild dish at one star, but if you want it spicier or no spice at all you can order it that way.

This dish showcased the detail they put into their vegetable preparation. I saw that each type of vegetable was cut in a specific way, which made the dish appealing visually. At the same time, the vegetables held their texture and were not over cooked. The stir-fry had a hint of sweetness due to its sweet chili paste sauce and the cashews sent it over the top. What a dish.

I also wanted to try a curry dish and finally settled on the panang curry ($12.95) because we’d never had it before. Coconut milk, green beans, bell pepper and kafir lime leaf were flavored with panang curry paste. At two stars, this was a spicier dish, but really the perfect amount of heat for us. Even though both of our entrees featured chicken, they had very different textures in the way they were cooked. The curry was creamy and delightful.

There is nothing boring about the pops of flavor in Thai cuisine. And Sweet Chilli Thai will now become a wonderful source of Thai food for us.


From the friendly greeting we got from Nikita, who led us to our table, to the beautiful interior that has been a focus for Nim, this is a great dining experience. And throughout our dinner they had a steady stream of folks picking up takeout meals.


Nim was very friendly, telling us about her family, and was helpful in explaining the menu, emphasizing that they are willing to make changes in all dishes at the request of their customers. They have plenty of gluten-free choices and many in which you choose some of the ingredients (we chose chicken for our curry dish).

With our meal, I enjoyed a Singha beer, an original Thai beer since 1933. I loved the spring rolls appetizer — nice and light with a tasty sauce.

They offer an extensive menu, and I absolutely loved our choices. The spice in the panang curry was well-balanced by the cashew nut stir-fry, a truly spectacular dish. Of course I let Linda make all the choices, which we shared, except the dessert which I got to choose. And I chose fried ice cream — a nice finish to this spectacular meal.

Before Linda chose our entrée, she promised on our next visit here I could have either the golden chicken or duck tamarind, both of which I was drooling over. Nim took all the fabulous photos on the menu and their excellent website and Facebook page, and trust me, when you see those photos you’ll want all of those dishes.

Prices here are reasonable and portions are large, allowing us to enjoy another meal of Sweet Chilli Thai’s food at home.

Visit George’s website — — for book reviews, outdoor news and all Travelin’ Maine(rs) columns, found listed by town in the “Best of Maine” section.

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